Editor’s note: for the latest on this story, click here.
Parents at North Atlanta High walked into Garden Hills Elementary not knowing why their current principal wants to leave or who will replace him.
Associate Superintendent Steve Smith, Board of Education Chairman Reuben McDaniel, District 4 Board of Education member Nancy Meister and Seat 7 Board of Education member Courtney English were there to answer questions, or at least try.
It was a chaotic scene that symbolized the general chaos of North Atlanta at the moment. Parents sounded confused, angry and above all suspicious. Many also did not know that shortly before the meeting, the Atlanta Board of Education did not approve Superintendent Erroll Davis’ promotion of the current NAHS principal, Howard Taylor, to executive director of the North Region.
In that role, Taylor would oversee the entire North Atlanta cluster. But Davis learned after he announced the promotion on Monday that he could not make that appointment without board of education approval, Smith told the crowd.
During Tuesday’s special called meeting, Meister moved to approve Taylor’s promotion but no one offered a second so the motion died. Chairman McDaniel said he did not offer a second because he felt the board would not support it and he didn’t want to see the promotion rejected outright. English had a similar explanation, saying he didn’t want to close the door on any potential opportunities.
Both men said they would’ve voted yes, however. Many in the audience said that would’ve been sufficient to approve the promotion, because BOE rules specify that a super majority of the board must vote to deny the superintendent’s recommendation.
Atlanta Public Schools officials attempted to give answers, but after two hours many parents were wondering what exactly is going on at their school. Meister said as things currently stand, Taylor will remain as principal until his resignation takes effect in December.
As the last few days have shown, there will likely be more developments between now and then.
Reporter Newspapers will file a lengthier report from this meeting later today on Reporternewspapers.net.
On Friday, Taylor announced he would resign.
On Monday, Atlanta Public Schools announced it had enticed Taylor to stay by promoting him to executive director of the North Region which oversees the North Atlanta cluster.
Today, shortly before the community meeting at Garden Hills, the BOE failed to approve Taylor’s promotion.